Reduced crop area may hit rice production in Odisha

As the area covered under paddy cultivation during the current kharif season has shrunk by nearly one lakh hectare, the state government may not achieve its production target of over 151 lakh tonne paddy (99.75 lakh tonne in terms of rice).

Like the previous year, the Agriculture department has programmed paddy cultivation over an area of 35 lakh hectare for kharif 2023-24. Late arrival of monsoon and erratic rainfall across the state in the months of July and August followed by floods in some coastal districts have considerably delayed kharif operations.

The paddy crop coverage area in the state till September 15 was 34.17 lakh hectare against 35.16 lakh hectare during the corresponding period of last year. The shortfall in cropping area will result in a shortfall in production of around 4.32 lakh tonne paddy which is equivalent to around three lakh tonne rice.

The state government has also set an ambitious target to increase the yield from 2,730 kg per hectare to 2,850 kg per hectare. “The low pressure induced rains across the state has made up for rainfall deficit in all districts. While the cumulative rainfall deficit in Kendrapara, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur is more than 20 per cent, the weekly report said the state has received excess rainfall of over 111 mm in the last week. Reports from districts said overall crop condition is normal. “We expect a good harvest this year too,” sources in the Directorate of Agriculture said.

The government has set a target to procure 79 lakh tonne rice during the 2023-24 kharif marketing season which is two lakh tonne more than last year. This would be possible in case of a bumper harvest which appears remote in view of delayed operation and if farmers of deficit rainfall areas resorted to short and medium duration crops, said an agro-meteorologist.

Similar is the case with pulses cultivation. The state has planned to take up cultivation on 7.45 lakh hectare while the actual area covered under pulses is little over five lakh hectare. However, oilseeds coverage has improved as compared to last year.

Tough job

 Paddy coverage in state till Sept 15 was 34.17 lakh ha against 35.16 lakh ha last year
 The shortfall in cropping area will hit production of around 4.32 lakh tonne paddy
 Actual area under pulses cultivation is five lakh ha against the target of 7.45 lakh ha

This article has been republished from The New Indian Express

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